"31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4: 31-32)
Much of the time, believers in the Body of Christ receive the commands in the Epistles before reading the promises which Jesus Christ has fulfilled for us.
By reading Ephesians 4, the assumption is that we have read Ephesians 3, 2, and of course the first chapter.
Let's look at all that Jesus has done for us because of His death, resurrection, and continuing Advocacy on our behalf:
"3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1: 3-6)
Those of us with a heavy religious background will have a hard time believing that God has done anything, let alone everything for us. Yet in Christ, we have received all spiritual blessings, in which "spiritual" speaks of their origin, not exclusively their essence.
God chose us before the foundation of the world, Beloved! He loved you before you were even born! He loved you before you even knew about Him or cared about Him. We have been adopted into a New Family, with Jesus as our older brother. And we are fully accepted (literally, graced) in Christ.1
In fact, the same word "forgiven" written in Ephesians 4: 31-32 is the same base word used in Ephesians 1: 6: charitoo: blessed with grace and favor.
We have received a new identity in Christ, not just adopted as sons, but in the Son:
"5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2: 5-7)
How has God Forgiven You? He has given you a new identity!
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)